1996 Nissan Serena Reviews

1996 Nissan Serena FX 2.0 petrol from Australia and New Zealand

Model year1996
Year of manufacture1996
First year of ownership2005
Most recent year of ownership2006
Engine and transmission 2.0 petrol Automatic
Performance marks 6 / 10
Reliability marks 9 / 10
Comfort marks 8 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 5 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.0 / 10
Distance when acquired189300 kilometres
Most recent distance199100 kilometres
Previous carRenault 25


Consummate all-rounder


Nil mechanical breakdowns so far.

General Comments:

Great all round transportation, if a bit high on the fuel consumption.

Suspension and A/T work in all sorts of terrain, I've cruised down the motorway at 140Km/H, tackled windy rough rural roads and corners comfortably at 100, and roared down gravel potholed forestry tracks at 80.

Load space is massive with the centre seat rotated around to face to the rear and the rear seats hooked up at the sides.

My main dislike is the lack of power moving off. It'll keep the speed up once rolling, but it accelerates pretty sluggish.

With all the rear seats folded flat a double bed mattress can be fitted in, turning it into a real shag-waggon, or comfortable overnight camper for long trips.

Overall a great all-rounder small van/large people mover.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 1st January, 2006

18th Feb 2006, 03:54

It's me again, after another 10,000+Km and a tune up a few more comments on my Serena. Fuel consumption has come down a bit to a more reasonable level, 10.1L per 100Km on fairly hilly terrain, and the acceleration is better. I'm much happier with it now :)

I've had over half a ton in the back and it carry's it without problems, but it did need the AT in power mode.

1996 Nissan Serena L 1.6 from UK and Ireland

Year of manufacture1996
First year of ownership2002
Most recent year of ownership2004
Engine and transmission 1.6 Manual
Performance marks 5 / 10
Reliability marks 5 / 10
Comfort marks 3 / 10
Dealer Service marks 5 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 1 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
3.8 / 10
Distance when acquired60000 miles
Most recent distance82000 miles
Previous carVauxhall Astra


Cheap to buy, quite expensive to run but I quite like them


The engine developed a rattle at 82000 miles. Having been assured by a mechanic that there was no significant problem I continued to drive the vehicle. A week or so later the drive chain broke causing at least £1000 worth of damage.

Several electrical faults.

General Comments:

The second hand cost of this vehicle attracted me when compared to other people carriers. I also had an idea about Japanese reliability which persuaded me to buy one. Maintenance has proved very expensive though. Parts are hard to come by and not cheap.

This car is very basic with few luxuries, but it does the job.

Getting at the engine to check and top up the oil is extremely difficult.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 8th May, 2004

1996 Nissan Serena 2.3SD 2.3 diesel from UK and Ireland

Year of manufacture1996
First year of ownership1997
Engine and transmission 2.3 diesel Manual
Performance marks 1 / 10
Reliability marks 9 / 10
Comfort marks 7 / 10
Dealer Service marks 3 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 2 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
4.4 / 10
Distance when acquired6000 miles
Most recent distance65000 miles
Previous carPeugeot 205


A low performing thirsty MPV. best suited in town


The diesel injector blanking plug (dead-end cover) split twice over two years. I think the design has been changed now.

Nothing else really.

General Comments:

A reliable fairly comfortable MPV however;

1) Worst of both worlds with the engine; thirsty and no umph! to speak of. A turbo is required methinks!

2) Really very noisy and lots of vibration especially at 50mph (smooths out at 80mph though)

3) Lovely driving position, high with well placed controls. The seating is quite flexible.

4) Actually quite good handling, all things considered due to it's near mid-engine configuration.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 8th August, 2003

Average review marks: 5.1 / 10, based on 3 reviews